Their priority is serving the community, though President and CEO James McAra knows they cannot ignore the business operations that enable their work. He likens Decisions to a forklift: People don’t individually move boxes of food around the warehouse because that would be inefficient. James tried Office 365 at home and realized it could be a solution for operational efficiency at the Calgary Food Bank. First, hefirst launched SharePoint to create a document management resource underpinning the organization’s technology and communications structure. Through the Microsoft Charity License, he introduced Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Teams.
However, meetings continued to lack structure and without a set meeting system, people would forget items from one meeting to the next. A search of the Microsoft Store turned up Decisions.
Today, meetings at the Calgary Food Bank are collaborative, productive and organized. Meetings start with a review of tasks and decisions tokeep ideas moving forward. Next, the team only allows agenda items that require action and decision-making. As James says, “We don’t come to meetings to hear someone say something we could read on Teams or SharePoint.”
And they are rigorous about this.
Decisions allows agenda topic owners to mark their items as for information, for discussion or for decision. Any topic submitted as for information must include an attachment and it receives only one minute on the agenda to confirm people read what was provided. This approach creates a culture where meetings are focused and attendees are more engaged.
“Decisions is the tool that brings all of these pieces together for us,” said James.“It’s also been fun to watch Decisions take our feedback and turn it into new features. The company listens to and sometimes anticipates our need, like with the new time-keeping feature!”
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More About the Calgary Food Bank If the Calgary Food Bank were a company, it would be the equivalent of a $45M midsize business. At any time, it must be able to respond to at least 10% of its local population. They have 4,000 volunteers and 585 agency partners.
The Calgary Food Bank is the first line of emergency food support for families and individuals facing crisis. Their deep collaboration and food support to hundreds of other charitable organizations that address the root causes of food insecurity aligns with its mission to work with the community to fight hunger. They are the most accessible food bank in Calgary serving families, individuals and organizations which rely solely on the generous support of the community. Learn more: https://www.calgaryfoodbank.com